Radisson Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) has implemented an increased fuel surcharge of $5 per person, per day, for all the line's 2006 sailings that are not paid in full by Oct. 31, 2005. The line's current surcharge is $2.85, applied to all 2005 sailings.
In addition, starting Oct. 31, 2005, the line will apply "air" surcharges to cruises for which airfare is included, to the tune of $45 per person, each way ($90). Like the fuel surcharge, the air fee will be waived if the fares are paid in full by the end of October.
"A fuel surcharge, at least in our case, is not a fare increase by another name," said Andrew Poulton, director of marketing for RSSC. "When our pricing for 2006 was set in stone at the start of this year, certain assumptions were made about fuel costs going forward. When those assumptions are proven completely incorrect - who could have predicted the current price of fuel at over $60 a barrel, or in our case well over $300 per ton - our pricing model becomes flawed and adjustments need to be made." He added that the $5 surcharge per day "does not come close" to covering the incremental costs the line will incur as a result of current fuel prices.
"Most of the other cruise lines are in a different situation as either they have much larger ships, so that the cost of fuel is not so acute on a per-passenger basis," Poulton said. "Or their cruise pricing is more flexible in that they do not have a fixed published fare/brochure rate that they adhere to."